Tower Arch Trail

MODERATE 106 reviews
#16 of 48 trails in

Tower Arch Trail is a 2.4 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Moab, Utah that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 2.4 miles Elevation Gain: 600 feet Route Type: Out & Back


nature trips

bird watching


wild flowers




no dogs

Large, secluded arch hidden behind the Klondike Bluffs. Trail gains just over 100 feet in elevation, but constant up-and-down means quite a bit more than the elevation suggests! This is out in the middle of nowhere as far as the park goes, with extremely light traffic; it is suggested that visitors bring plenty of water. Just a little under half-way between the beginning of the trail and Tower Arch is the monument known as the Marching Men. Part of a gigantic fin of eroding sandstone, the Marching Men are a series of tall, thin towers that stand atop the fin in a row, much like soldiers at attention. The arch itself is very large; with a 92-foot span it is far from the largest in the park. But the awe-inspiring immensity of Tower Arch comes as much from its impressive size as it does from its depth, and solid presence. It is an arch befitting the entrance to an Olympian palace, heavy, intimidating, and defiant in its graceful span.

13 days ago

Absolutely fantastic hike! Road was a little snowy and icy, but made it with my Subaru with ease. Toilet at trailhead and trail is well marked with cairns. Trail had some ice on it, but made it without traction devices. Lots of snow made the scenery mesmerizing! Arch was awesome and we had the whole place to ourselves the entire time and saw no one. See pics!

1 month ago

This moderately difficult hike is relatively short, but has high payoff. It starts with a hillside scramble up to the ridge, and then heads downhill through spaghetti western landscape. Then back up through some sand and around the bend to the final arch section. Amazing views. You feel like you are in your own world. Totally worth the drive to get away from the more populated areas. The road in was well maintained. I recommend doing this hike when there is no threat of rain as it might be difficult to navigate when wet.

2 months ago

Amazing. So peaceful. And when you climb through Tower Arch and look out the way you came, it’s an absolute beautiful view more than worth the hike. Stoping for a few minutes to ponder the Marching Man is a good idea ;) Enjoy!

2 months ago

One of my favorite trails of any National Park I have done so far! Beautiful changing views and a rewarding arch at the end of the trail. Some good spots to freehand climb near and around the arch. The trail is up and down almost the whole way. Nothing to harsh. Some sugar sand dunes right before the arch that were slightly challenging to climb. 10/10 would most certainly recommend!

2 months ago

We were the first two people on this trail on a cool November morning. The first five minutes of this hike are the hardest, climbing up the bluff from the parking lot. Otherwise it is moderate up and down. We had the entire hike to ourselves, only meeting some other people on the way out to the parking lot. A truly magical experience to have the spectacular scenery to ourselves.

no shade
2 months ago

This is up there with Park Avenue for me as the best Arches hike. Worth the drive to get to it, and there are no people if you go early. Very cool arch at the end!

3 months ago

A beautiful day!!!

5 months ago

had to help Carlos find reberto on the trail head map was very off but over all it was awesome

6 months ago

Great hike! Only saw 9 other people on the trail. Lovely views and not too difficult.

7 months ago

The initial ascent through the cliff face is particularly strenuous (at least for us), after that it’s a fairly easy hike with plenty of well-placed rock cairns. Tower Arch is quite impressive; while there, take a few minutes to scout around for the Ringhoffer inscription carved in the rock near the arch. The drive to the remote Klondike Bluffs area is an adventure in itself; trailhead features what is perhaps the nicest pit toilet in the entire park. Be sure to take (and drink) plenty of water and energy snacks (Clif Bars, trail mix, beef jerky), wear sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat, and wear hiking boots for traction and ankle support. This hike is definitely worth the half-hour drive to the trailhead from the main park road.

8 months ago

One of the best hikes in Arches National Park. The beginning is up some bluffs with rock scrambles and there are a couple of up and downs, but overall it’s not too difficult. Definitely would recommend if you want a trail that isn’t so busy.

11 months ago

The Hike eas fun. Arch very impressive. Crowd- non existent. The 4wd roads- from Willow Springs to the road junction was fun. Experienced driver, 4wd, high clearance and good approach and departure angle highly desirable and lockers extremely handy(there are a couple of bare tall rocks after a gorgeous narrow- rock one side, trees the other- rubber tire marks indicate a change needed in driving skill level). Road to left to Tower Arch. Easy with a coupke of humps and easier sliprock. Road from "T" back to Salt Flats Road... DIFFICULT! Lots of steep sliprock with sand pockets. We stayed on trail and avoided by-passes(which did not look a lot easier, hmm) to avoid environmental negative impact. Experienced off road driver required, spotter handy in places. FWD lo highly desirable. Lift necessary, high approach and departure angle needed. Good center clearance and/or skid plates and rock bars needed. SLOW! Steep ascent and descent very tricky. Rubicn or modded stock vehicles handle it very well. The sand hazard was wet with 10" plus ruts in it. Was solid in the winter but in summer it would be very deep and very loose soft fine sand. Walking hiking is easier but Willow Springs from Arches to 191 has some cool dinosaur tracks. Be respectful, take out more than you bring in(if possible), do.not walk on undisturbed soils(including trash removal) and leave all natural obhects and soils intact!

Sun Oct 14 2018

Easy to get to in our Toyota Tundra even after recent rain. I think you could easily get to it in an all wheel drive vehicle if you go the conventional way. You for sure need a more high clearance 4WD vehicle to take the other road. We LOVED this hike. We passed one other person on the way out. We didn't have a problem following the trail, and the weather was perfect mid October. I could see how this would be a hot hike on a sunny day, as there isn't much shade. Will do this again for sure!

Tue Aug 28 2018

This is one of my favorite hikes I've done. Went for sunset and brought headlamps to hike back. It's got a little bit of everything and has the perfect amount of challenge. The sandy areas are a bit of a pain, but worth it! We didn't encounter a single person out there (a pleasant surprise). Pay close attention to the cairns though, we got a little turned around.

Sun Jun 17 2018

Just a word of caution, we did not get to hike the trail. The map given at the visitor's center shows a "4WD" road that heads SW from Salt valley road. You'll pass it if you take the conventional way to the trailhead. We thought we could use this road and get a shorter hike from the SW side. We had a 4WD and we ended up stuck on rocks for over an hour. I do not recommend this direction unless you have a high clearance 4WD vehicle.

Fri Jun 15 2018

This trail has a little bit of everything. Nice climb up the rocks out of the gate, then a descent into the valley only to climb out on the far side on thick sand. At the top of the sand you have a great view of the Marching Men. Then up more sand & into a bunch of fins only to look up & there's the arch. Great hike, even if it was pushing 100°. Very little shade, take more water than you think you'll need

Mon May 21 2018

Fun and quiet. Lots to explore beyond the arch

Sat May 05 2018

Beautiful views throughout the hike! Starts with a easy scramble up to the top of a bluff then makes it’s way across a very exposed Mars-like landscape. Traverses down into a landscape depression then it’s back upward as the trail turns to sand. The payoff of going straight up a sand hill is the fun fast down hike on the way out. The trail takes you into the beautiful sandstone features and you descend to find Tower Arch to the right. The shade, breeze and view from under the arch are epic! The lack of crowds makes this the #1 reason to go. Just start early so you don’t cook to death in the exposed terrain. If you’re adventurous, take Salt Valley Rd in/out of the northwest end of the park for more empty park and views.

Fri Mar 23 2018

You cannot beat this hike. Great views, really makes you appreciate nature. Some sandy areas but worth the hike.

Mon Nov 27 2017

Wonderful hike! Less crowded than the other spots in Arches. There are a couple very sandy slopes that you'll need to climb so be prepared for the work but it all pays off once you make it to the arch.

Sun Aug 06 2017

Fun off road drive to get there. Nice hike. I was the only one there

Sat Aug 05 2017

definitely a must-do!! driving 8 miles off the beaten path basically makes it a private hike. sunrise = amazing photos!! the cairns on this hike puts others to shame. be prepared for a steep climb at the start AND finish plus sand that will soon be your arch nemesis.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Quiet and nice.

Fri Apr 14 2017

Scenic hike, away from the maddening crowds. Trail is adequately marked but pay attention to the cairns and remember the trail is a hairpin. The dirt road out there is oiled and packed, no 4 wheel needed. There is very little parking out there too. The arch is my favorite in the park. Don't miss it.

Sun Mar 19 2017

Fun trail. Take this to eye of the whale arch and then did willow springs road it made for a long fun day. All dirt roads out to 191 from start of this trail

Mon Nov 28 2016

If you like solitude and tranquility, this may be for you. Not overly strenuous and reasonablly well marked trail leads you to a small hill and then a small valley surrounded by sandstone pillars and walls. After climbing a small sandy slope, you become surrounded by fins and well eroded rocks. You are then almost at the front of a big theater stage. Spend some time exploring the formations and enjoy some well deserved snacks. You are ready to turn back. More likely than not, you will be only few there.

Tue Oct 18 2016

Really special hike. Rushed thru it to make sunset and wasn't disappointed! Sand was a little deep in spots, but the scenery makes up for it!

Sun Sep 18 2016

Great hike, I had the trail to myself and it was well worth the climbs and the sand in my boots. Take lot's of water it was 78 degrees and I went through 60 ounces.

Sat Aug 13 2016

Probably my favorite hikes in the park now that Delicate Arch has become SO busy!, It's got it all Some good Rock scrambling in the beginning & the end. Slick rock & also has some decent amount of sand, be prepared. We were here for at least 4 hours, never saw another soul. Awesome way to catch a sunset

Sun Jun 12 2016

Great way to get away from the crowds in the park and the pay off was worth it. Went in early June and saw 2 other groups I the trail. In a cooler climate, this trail would be easy, but the summer heat made it tough. Be sure to fill your water bottles at the visitor center before heading out. The dirt road to the trailhead was very well maintained.

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